The online real estate listings are filled with homes that have languished on the market for months. Not only are the sellers of these homes not enjoying the money the house sale would have brought them, these homes continue to cost the sellers money. When a house remains unsold, there are still mortgage payments and insurance premiums to pay while the owners wait for the right buyer to come along.
If you are planning to list your home for sale, you want to take every step possible to avoid a long wait for the sale. We asked our home staging friends why houses sometimes don’t sell quickly. It turns out that the problems that keep a house from selling are the products of fixed opinions on the part of owners. They came up with a surprising list which we serve up here.
• “I think this house is worth X, and I won’t sell for less.” Pricing your house properly is critical. Unless you are a seasoned real estate professional, you may not have the resources available to judge the price your home should bring on the market. If you’ve not had the help of somebody well-steeped in the current market, you may have overpriced your home based on newspaper reports or other information that does not necessarily reflect the reality of today’s housing value in your neighbourhood. Pricing your house realistically is one of the best reasons to consult a real estate sales agent before you list it for sale.
• “List it as is. We can always get it staged if it doesn’t sell right away.” Once a home has been on the market and hasn’t sold right away, it earns the reputation of being a poor investment among potential buyers. Even when the property is a fine example – clean, well maintained, and freshly painted – those attributes don’t show up well in photos or offer any inspiration as to the way the furnishings might be placed. Once buyers have looked at a house online and marked it off their list for any reason, they rarely go back to view it again. Put your best foot forward the first time, the real estate stylist tells us.
• “Depersonalise?? My house is charming just the way it is. I like my family photos and so will the buyers.” Sadly, not everybody will truly appreciate your family holiday snaps. Personal items cause buyers to be distracted from the house itself and, instead, spend their inspection time trying to figure out what kind of people the current owners are. It’s far, far better to stage the home in a way that enhances the home and its architecture. Featuring the positive attributes and giving the potential buyers a glimpse of what it would be like to live in the space goes a lot further toward selling the house than reinforcing the idea that the house belongs to somebody else. The key is to make the buyers begin to think of it as theirs, not yours.
• “Don’t bother investing in repairs. Let the new owners spend their own money.” Today’s buyers – even first time owners – are already tired of putting money into a house. They have probably been saving for years to accumulate the deposit – they really don’t want to have to come up with any more cash They want a house they can be assured is not going to cost them a lot of time and money in necessary repairs.
• “Why paint? Let the new owners pick the colours they like.” A fresh coat of paint does more than just look clean and fresh. It eliminates signs of wear and tear and makes the home look newer. Those tell-tale ghosts on walls where photos and art used to hang go away, and even odours from cooking and pets are eliminated when sealed away by a coat of fresh paint. By choosing pleasant, neutral colours the real estate stylist can give the property new life and a more appealing countenance. The buyers may, indeed, want to repaint in a different shade, but the painting doesn’t have to be done before they move in.
• “Leave it vacant and bare so the buyers can imagine their own furnishings inside.” Those who work in the home staging industry spend their resources learning all they can about prospective buyers. What they know from these studies is that most of us have a hard time imagining how a room will look with furnishings when they first see a vacant home. When presented with an empty living room, they are troubled by the need to know where the television will be positioned and how furnishings ought to be placed. When this work is done ahead of time, the buyer can concentrate on the beauty of the room and imagine their own family living there.
• “Home staging is expensive – why bother?” This may be the biggest myth of all in the world of real estate. The cost to stage a home for sale is roughly one to three percent of the asking price of the home. A professionally staged home will usually sell for 12 to 20 percent more than the original asking price. When you do the number crunching it makes perfect sense to stage the house before it’s listed for sale. Most real estate selling agents in the Greater Sydney area advise their clients to contact the real estate stylist and have their home prepared for sale professionally in order to maximise the ultimate sale price.
Don’t let your home stagnate on the real estate market. By using all the resources available today, you can sell your home quickly and for more money than you’d imagined. Call Urban Chic Property Styling today.